The Tall Ships are coming to Lunenburg in 2017.
The announcement was made by Premier Stephen McNeil on the Lunenburg waterfront on September 30. The tall ships are coming to 11 ports in Nova Scotia, which will make up a third of the tall ships' tour in Canada as a part of the country's 150 anniversary celebrations
"I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of how great this is for our province, not only do Tall Ships provide an economic boost but a chance for us to showcase Nova Scotia to the world," he said at the announcement. "At each port we can promote local food, wine, local performers, local artisans and I would remiss if I didn't say our craft breweries."
McNeil highlighted the importance of the stop in Lunenburg, saying he believes the town is the "sailing capitol of Nova Scotia" and said a tour would not be complete without it.
The province has invested $1.5 million to help communities across Nova Scotia to help welcome the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. Waterfront Development, Taste of Nova Scotia, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and Parks Canada have also partnered with Tall Ships.
"We have assembled an incredible team and together with very talented local teams in each of the out ports, and many folks behind the scenes, we will create an incredible provincial platform for local talent and business to showcase the best of Nova Scotia to the world," said Jennifer Angel, acting president and CEO of Waterfront Development Corporation, in a press release.
One of its biggest stops will be Lunenburg. It will also coincide with the town's largest event, the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival.
"What a party we will have," said Rachel Bailey, mayor of Lunenburg.
"It's a wonderful thing for Lunenburg, we will be showcased worldwide when these ships are in our harbour and it's our chance again to show our face to the world and show what we have to offer," she said in an interview with LighthouseNOW.
Doug Prothero, chairman and founding trustee of Sail Training International, spoke on the benefits the regatta will provide to young sailors.
"Our mission is the development and education of young people through the sail training experience, regardless of their nationality, culture, religion, gender, and social background," he said.
Ships from all over the world will arrive in Nova Scotian waters on the Canada Day weekend after having stopped first in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Bermuda, and Boston.
"This is all in celebration of Canada's 150," said Prothero.
"We started looking at this in 2004 and we thought Canada 150 was something we should really embrace and felt that there was a great sort of organization and support here in Nova Scotia," he added.
The ships will later make their way to a large celebration in Quebec City.
The Tall Ships schedule is as follows:
- Pictou, Pugwash, Port Hawkesbury – June 30 – July 2
- Halifax – July 29 – August 1
- Sydney, St. Peter's, Louisbourg – August 4 – 6
- Lunenburg – August 10 – 12
- Digby – August 15 – August 16
- Annapolis Royal sail past – August 16